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Environmental and risk perception in Patagonia, Argentina

Sandra Murriello  

This research proposes to highlight the forms of perception and appropriation of the environment of different social groups living in Andean Patagonia (Argentina), especially in regard to two phenomena: climate and volcanic risk. This region presents a high volcanic activity and is being afected by significant changes like major droughts linked with important fires.

In this context we are working on recoverying experiences, memories and records by different strategies (interviews, focus groups, etc.) which are being posted in a virtual repository with free access that operate as a space of collective memory, both in regard to past catastrophic events linked to volcanic eruptions about current living conditions liable to be modified by the effect of global climate change. It is well known that the recognition of the risk perception of environmental transformations by potentially vulnerable populations is a useful tool to the definition of public policies and the design of strategies of education, communication and prevention. In this sense we are adapting a local Crisis Management Manual adopted by local governments and working in environmenatl education and risk perception with schools in the surrounding region to the Copahue volcano, which is increasing its activity.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.